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Thursday, December 1, 2011

31 days of holiday food destined to destroy your waistline?

I will not allow the holidays to make me fat!

December is a nightmare in terms of nutrition. It's one of the times of year that I am very glad that I no longer head in to the firm 5 days a week.

Gift baskets, home-made cookie exchanges, candy bowls, chocolate and thank-you treats passing by my desk as well as the unrelenting barrage of peppermint, eggnog, gingerbread and pumpkin lattes at the coffee shop downstairs and on the walk to work are impossible to dodge.

That, coupled with holiday parties filled with delectable food and amazing drinks, would normally instigate a good 5 pound jump on the scale, not to mention sugar comas and caffeine highs.

This year is going to be different baby. I'm going to get in BETTER shape this December. I don't really need to lower my number on the scale - in fact I would like to add some muscle tone and definition so my number might actually go up.

But if there is anything that I have learned over the years with my two fantastic trainers it's that the scale doesn't mean shit. It's an indicator but that's it. Total body fat, your appearance, how you feel, your health and how your clothes fit are, or should be, more important to you.






Motivation is Key

In my pre-child days I was more concerned about the vanity of being in shape along with physical capability to play the sports that I enjoyed. These days I am still a little vain (I admit it) but more important to me is that I have the energy and strength to be a good mommy and be able to keep up with my son as he races through the park.

One of our favorite games is to race around the bases at the ball field next to our house. And climb the tower up to the big slide! Don't even get me started on the dancing. E can bust a move like no other - and he wants company.

I'm not going to look at this as a 'bummer' during the holidays. I'm not trying to ruin my good time. In fact, I intend to enjoy it more by being less hungover with no blood sugar spikes making me feel like ass.

The Challenge

So this year I am challenging myself to 31 days (the entire month of December) of getting a good amount of exercise and keeping a food journal.

Don't get me wrong - there will be drinks and there will be treats, but by keeping the food journal I will be able to see just exactly how much I'm hitting my food bank account with high calorie, non-nutritious foods and the plan is to then keep it under control.

I'm a grazer so I can eat a nibble here, a nibble there of crap food several times a day and hooo boy can that add up.

My food journal will include a space for each of:

  • breakfast
  • mid-morning snack
  • lunch
  • mid-afternoon snack
  • dinner
  • glasses of water
  • exercise

I use the loseit.com site as well as the iPhone app - it is cool because I can also send the weekly report directly to my trainer. None of these sites will give you a 100% accurate reading of your nutritional intake, but you will get a good idea of your trends.

I know it seems like a downer to undertake something like this during our joyous season of pigging out (and the insanity of getting everything together for the little ones) so I'm going to allow myself one treat every few days. A treat is going to be one piece of candy, one chocolate, one drink or something equivalent. It does not mean an entire bottle of wine or a whole candy bar or a huge piece of cake. 

But in order to have that treat I am going to use my journal to make sure that I am preparing for that treat by eating healthfully the rest of the time.

I am also going to exercise every day. It might be a run, a walk or free weights. Possibly even a bike ride or sprints. Maybe it will be a 5 minute walk or some squats while cooking dinner. Just... something.

Jump on Board

It would be super if you want to follow along, doing this challenge with me. 

Posting an update every day would be tedious and boring so I'm only going to update every 7 days. Those updates will include a rundown of how I did on my food journal as well as my exercise. 

My update will also include any journeys through health war zones like holiday parties and gift baskets, where I fell of the wagon or how I dodged the sugar bullets. 

Don't leave me out there alone, my sweet sweet readers. Make your plans to defeat the bulge this December and join in the comments section for support and inspiration. Don't be one of the millions who feel they have to include gym memberships or diets into their New Years Resolutions. 


For some great inspiration and reading about how diet and lifestyle can affect our health and well-being more than lack of exercise, check out my good friend Jade's facebook page. Jade is an excellent trainer and nutrition expert and he is kind of ridiculously hot, so there is that too...


6 comments:

Shelby said...

Good for you! I, too, have found that keeping a food journal is the best way to keep myself on track. Good luck this month!

Lucy said...

Wow, I so hope you do it!! This sounds like a great plan and you have thought out the pitfalls and have made a plan how to avoid them, which is great!!!

Good Luck :)

Jean said...

Yes!!! I think keeping a meal schedule and a basic diet goal is important during the holidays with all the large meals, sugary treats, yummy breads and desserts. It's too easy to ruin your diet during the holidays. I find that making sure I eat at least a certain number of portions of fruits and veggies a day also helps because you're filling your stomach with healthy food that is full of vitamins and nutrition and helps to offset and (for me) reduce my cravings for sweets.

I love your plan that you've made. I plan on doing the challenge with you! I need to lose some serious weight anyway and by doing this plan it helps to not allow the holidays to be used as yet another excuse for me to put off getting in shape!

Brenda Stevens said...

RIGHT ON! Been doing the same since May but will tell you, DANG did ok T Day as i worked..but with all the cooking and festivities, shopping and Christmas music a playin..my memory of EATING is being triggered, need to make NEW memories, LOVING my old figure, (hubby too) you know...ladies......pssssssssssst we don't want to get fat DOWN THERE! ok i said it. LOL

I am with you 100% and have to do JUST THIS; write a journal and it is tedious, yet we need to be held accountable; not forsaking the gathering together..and champion on!

Great to stumble upon you this season of DREAMS COMING TRUE!

Tracy said...

I'm so happy to not be alone in this! Having you ladies on board is great. Cheers to not being food blimps come January!

Kati @ Around the Plate said...

Keeping a food journal is such a great way to help you stay on track. Good luck!

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